8 Years Too Long – Don’t look away.

Locals ask Fiona Phillips MP to not look away

Fiona Phillips MP will be presented with a giant letter by Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla as Monday 19th of July marks the 8th year anniversary of offshore detention.

The group of advocates and Eurobodalla residents will be calling for their local Gilmore member to not look away from the harms caused by indefinite detention - but to work to end what has been widely condemned as a failed and costly system with refugees left in limbo.

Members of Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla will join with other Australians across the country on this eight year anniversary, calling for the release and resettlement of refugees caught up in a highly arbitrary and harmful system.

July 19 marks the date that PM Kevin Rudd announced that “As of today, asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia”.

Thousands of men, women and children have been held in offshore detention on either Nauru or Papua New Guinea since July 19, 2013.

“We cannot as Australians continue to look away from these people who legally sought our protection 8 years ago, and who are still suffering worsening physical and mental harms whether left offshore, or still held in detention in our cities, or left without visas and hope in the Australian community.” says Magella Blinksell, Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla’s spokesperson

Around 100 of the 1,161 refugees who were medically evacuated to Australia under the Medevac Legislation are still locked up in detention.

There are over 100 people ‘left behind’ on Nauru while approximately 130 people remain stranded by the Australian Government on PNG, despite UNHCR strongly condemning the determination process used to assess their refugee status, and as Covid-19 infections escalate in PNG.

Fiona Phillips as Gilmore’s local MP is asked in the letter to stand up for a fair and decent go for these refugees, with calls for the closure of the Government’s costly and beleaguered and offshore processing operations, and to allow those refugees held in limbo offshore the right to settle in Australia or to be allowed to go to New Zealand. New Zealand has offered to resettle them.

“This is not the time to look away. It’s time for the safe, timely and cost-effective refugee processing and settlement of these people, and all the kids and families who have been caught up in this cruel and damaging policy for too long. “

“It’s now time for ‘Game over’ and a home, and to allow the next chapter of belonging and healing to open up in these peoples’ lives.” Ms Blinksell said.

More info & ways you can take action https://aran.net.au/actions/8-years-too-long/

Sign the Gameover – Get them to safety - petition here: https://www.amnesty.org.au/gameover/

RAC Eurobodalla took their campaigning up the mountain to outside Parliament House last month, joining with other Rural Australians for Refugees adding their voices to the 'Time for A Home' , and the 'Home To Bilo' campaigns